Hydro's Profiler unit has signed a long-term agreement with Alloc, one of the leading manufacturers of laminate flooring in Europe. The five-year deal is for the supply of more than 75 million extruded aluminium locking clips that enable the flooring to be connected without the use of glue.
Alloc revolutionized the floor industry in 1996, when the company introduced a locking system that made it possible to lay floors without using glue. Alloc has now developed a system that provides greater precision and locking effect, and which greatly simplifies installation.
The heart of the system is locking clips or fasteners made from aluminium extrusions.
The new development and delivery agreement makes Hydro Aluminium Profiler the sole supplier to Alloc of nearly 75 million clips over the next five years. The agreement was signed at Alloc's head office in Lyngdal, Norway, in the presence of key staff members from both companies, led by Alloc's operations manager Patric Van Ackere and marketing manager Atle Larsen of Hydro Aluminium Profiler.
"We make great demands on our suppliers for quality and long-term commitment," says Tore Gysland, Alloc's logistics and planning manager as well as project leader for the development of the new locking system.
"Working with Hydro, we can feel confident about deliveries in the long term of the extrusions for our new fastening system."
Put to the test
The agreement was preceded by a year of development work where Hydro's production resources were put to the test by the high demands of this specialized product, with tight tolerances. Apart from producing the fastening extrusions, Hydro has invested in fully automatic machining and a logistics system customized for Alloc's stores and production.
The five-year agreement is for the delivery of about 15 million locking clips a year, or some 400 metric tons of aluminium extrusions. This represents 2,000 mt over the duration of the contract.
"We are pleased to have secured this exciting project with a long-term agreement that offers both technical challenges and good development opportunities," says Larsen. "Furthermore, we have taken a step that is unique for the business and extended the boundaries of what was once technically possible in production."
Alloc was started in 1953 and is owned today by the Belgian Beaulieu International Group.